Sarasota / Lakewood Ranch

New year lends to fresh look at preparedness

  • By:Neil Lyons

As we enter 2022, take some time to think about the future and whether you’ve prepared for certain future events, such as incapacity and death. 

As an elder law attorney, preparing for incapacity means you’ve thought about, and made arrangements for, potential future incapacities. 

Take stock of your choices and documents

Preparedness means choosing trustworthy individuals to make healthcare and financial decisions for you when you are unable. It also means executing the proper documents to ensure those individuals have the authority to act on your behalf. 

Additionally, if you’ve executed the proper documents, take time to reassess whether the person or people you’ve chosen are still able to fulfill those obligations.

If you’re new to the area (welcome!) and have executed a non-Florida durable power of attorney and healthcare surrogate designations, get those documents reviewed by a licensed Florida attorney. (Our firm offers complimentary document reviews.)

Review your beneficiary designations

Another item on the preparedness checklist is beneficiary designations.

I’ve written about beneficiary designations previously, especially in the context of probate avoidance. To review, assets that have beneficiary designations are typically not subject to probate administration. 

Avoiding probate is ideal. Preparedness means adding beneficiary designations to all eligible assets. 

On the other hand, if you’ve already completed beneficiary designations, take time to review and if necessary, update those designations.  

If you have questions about pre-incapacity planning, probate avoidance, or if you’d like to start getting prepared, contact Luhrsen Goldberg.  

Attorney Neil T. Lyons pursued a career in law for the sole purpose of helping people. His practice focuses on the area of elder law, including estate planning, trust and probate administration and guardianship. His early legal experience solidified his commitment to assisting, whenever possible, two very vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. He receives repeated recognition by various organizations for his pro bono efforts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Neil also consistently engages in service to the legal community and joined the Luhrsen Goldberg staff in 2019.

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